The four suspects – a couple living near Lake Como, a 23-year-old Moroccan man, and a female relative of a fugitive couple – were also to join the Islamic State terror group, Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said at a press conference.
Italian police also said they are seeking to arrest of a fugitive couple, another Moroccan man and his Italian wife, who are believed to have left Italy for Iraq and Syria last year, the prosecutor said.
Transcripts of wiretapped phone conversations between three of the four suspects who have already been arrested mentioned the possibility of attacks on the Vatican and the Israeli Embassy in Rome.
“I swear I will be the first to attack them in this Italy of crusaders, I swear I’ll attack it, in the Vatican God willing,” one of the arrested men is quoted as telling the man on the run in the transcript.
In a separate conversation with another of the suspects arrested, the same man said he wanted to hit the Israeli embassy in Rome and had contacted an Albanian man to get a gun.
Reports in Italy said that the suspects were plotting to carry out these attacks in the coming months, and then flee to Syria.